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Thread: The Police Brutality Thread

  1. #1

    Default The Police Brutality Thread

    I just wonder why this story is not on the front page of some of our US newspapers! Why did I have to find it in a British source?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-37-death.html

    His father, a retired policeman, has some things to say about why his son was killed, and it should scare all Americans:

    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knWYW5m7xXc&feature=related"]‪Why Was Kelly Thomas Beaten to Death by Fullerton Police?‬‏ - YouTube[/nomedia]

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    Soul Plumber wuapinmon's Avatar
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    [YOUTUBE]KU0Imk2Bstg[/YOUTUBE]

    This is just awful.
    "Yeah, but never trust a Ph.D who has an MBA as well. The PhD symbolizes intelligence and discipline. The MBA symbolizes lust for power." -- Katy Lied

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    Quote Originally Posted by wuapinmon View Post
    This is just awful.
    Yes. It's been all over the local news, and awful is the word.
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    Heartless Bastard Indy Coug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edward777 View Post
    I just wonder why this story is not on the front page of some of our US newspapers! Why did I have to find it in a British source?
    Because Trayvon Martin hasn't quite made its way out of the news cycle.
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    It is pretty remarkable to have video and audio like that in the security camera. Here are some details that I noticed.

    1. Thomas, who is homeless, begins by lying to the police. He first says that he doesn't speak English, even though it is obvious that he does. He is reluctant to give his name, but eventually the cops are heard saying the name 'Kelly Thomas.' They aren't sure if that is actually his name.

    2. Thomas volunteers his backpack for a search. He didn't need to do this, as there was no probable cause (other than his lying about not speaking English). Several times during the search of the backpack the officers turn their back on Thomas and leave him unattended, demonstrating that they did not see him as a physical threat.

    3. The officers are heard searching the backpack for evidence to make an arrest on something completely unrelated to anything going on. He has mail that once belonged to someone else. The cops discuss arresting him for stealing the mail, though they never discuss the possibility that the mail was simply taken out of a dumpster (at the beginning of the video Thomas explains that he sleeps in garbage cans). Note to self -- never consent to any search of my person or property by police, regardless of my innocence.

    4. Thomas is seen generally cooperating with the police, however there is some reluctance on his part as the officer asks him to do something that is somewhat physically difficult -- to stretch his legs out and put his hands on his knees. He protests that doing both at the same time is difficult for him. The officer tells him that he better learn to do it quickly.

    5. Here is my best attempt at transcribing what happens in the video once they seem to have decided to make the arrest. This begins at 14:33

    The fat officer approaches Thomas and says, "Feet out in front of you. Feet out in front of you. I'm not fucking around any more dude." There is some inaudible stuff the cop says at this point.

    Thomas hesitates, but shifts his feet a bit more forward. The officer continues as he can be seen putting on a pair of gloves, "Feet out in front of you." After a pause, Thomas leans back, supporting himself on his hands, and extends his legs straight out in front of him. He seems to be trying to comply.

    The officer says, "Put your hands on your fucking knees." Thomas pulls his legs in and rests his arms on his knees.

    The officer says, "Put your feet out in front of you." Thomas responds, "Well which one is it dude?" The officer sharply interjects, "BOTH!" Thomas says, "Well I can't do both." The officer replies, "Well you are going to have to learn real quick."

    Thomas extends his legs, leaning back on his hands again. The officer points at his knees and says, "Put your hands on your knees." As he says this he walks to a position slightly behind Thomas. Thomas quickly puts his hands on his knees. 15:18

    From the position slightly behind Thomas, the officer leans down and says, "Now, see my fists?" Thomas replies, "Yeah, what about them?" The officer says, "They are getting ready to fuck you up..." 15:23

    Thomas replies to the threat with anger, "Start punching, dude!" The officer continues his sentence, "... if you don't fucking start listening."

    Thomas muddles something that sounds like, "That sucks."

    There is a pause as the officer hovers over Thomas. Thomas, who appears uncomfortable in the position he is sitting, moves his hands back behind him to support himself. The officer shouts at him, "Put your fucking hands on your knees."

    Thomas responds, gesturing in a pleading fashion with his hands, "Well hey, I'm sick of playing games, which... which one is it?"

    The officer grabs Thomas' left arm and shouts "Put your fucking hands on your knees."

    Thomas begins to stand up as he says, "Will you just fucking..." The officer shouts at him and handles him roughly and Thomas jumps to his feet. A second officer comes over, and Thomas puts up his hands, palms facing the police in a defensive manner, and says, "Alright!"

    The second officer has his club out and walks toward Thomas telling him to "Get on the ground right now." Thomas backs away from the officer with the club. The officer leans in and strikes at Thomas's knee with the club. 15:45

    The deadly beating follows.
    Last edited by RobinFinderson; 05-09-2012 at 09:01 AM.

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    Senior Member SteelBlue's Avatar
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    The officers still sound worried that if they let up he's going to "fight again" very late into the video. He must have 1500 pounds of cops sitting on him before they finally let up. I heard one officer saying "he's on something man, there were 3 of us and we couldn't (inaudible)". Did this guy die from a beating or from suffocation?

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    Disgusting. So sad.

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    Senior Member dabrockster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wuapinmon View Post
    [YOUTUBE]KU0Imk2Bstg[/YOUTUBE]

    This is just awful.
    Listening to him cry for help for his Dad makes me sick to my stomach and ill... I can't imagine how his father is so composed in his interviews and to hear that video of his dear son... That would haunt me forever...
    Last edited by dabrockster; 05-09-2012 at 12:10 PM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelBlue View Post
    The officers still sound worried that if they let up he's going to "fight again" very late into the video. He must have 1500 pounds of cops sitting on him before they finally let up. I heard one officer saying "he's on something man, there were 3 of us and we couldn't (inaudible)". Did this guy die from a beating or from suffocation?
    Well since he never actually fought, how could he fight again? Most he did was back away and not put his hands behind his back fast enough while being beat on the ground. He never made a move against a cop.

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    Heartless Bastard Indy Coug's Avatar
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    All Trayvon Martin kidding aside, the reason why this story hasn't had more traction nationally yet is because the victim is white.
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    This breaks my heart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximus View Post
    Well since he never actually fought, how could he fight again? Most he did was back away and not put his hands behind his back fast enough while being beat on the ground. He never made a move against a cop.
    He can be seen in the video kicking his legs in a way that looks like he is trying to put distance between himself and a police assailant. To me it looks like reflex. I have a hard time understanding how someone stops from reflexively blocking blows from someone with a weapon. It is as if they are saying, "Relax, or I won't stop beating you." But how do you relax when you are being beaten to a bloody pulp with weapons?


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    Senior Member dabrockster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinFinderson View Post
    He can be seen in the video kicking his legs in a way that looks like he is trying to put distance between himself and a police assailant. To me it looks like reflex. I have a hard time understanding how someone stops from reflexively blocking blows from someone with a weapon. It is as if they are saying, "Relax, or I won't stop beating you." But how do you relax when you are being beaten to a bloody pulp with weapons?

    That is not even the worse photo of his beating.. There is another that shows his front shot that shows all the swelling etc.. It is disgusting what they did....

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    Senior Member SteelBlue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinFinderson View Post
    He can be seen in the video kicking his legs in a way that looks like he is trying to put distance between himself and a police assailant. To me it looks like reflex. I have a hard time understanding how someone stops from reflexively blocking blows from someone with a weapon. It is as if they are saying, "Relax, or I won't stop beating you." But how do you relax when you are being beaten to a bloody pulp with weapons?

    I think you're right. From the minute they knock him down he's got, I'd guess, a minimum of 450 pounds of cops pushing down into him. The will to breathe would make anyone resist that I would think. And the entire time, it's that reflexive resistance that fuels the response. Adding another 1,000 pounds of cop isn't going to decrease resistance from anyone who feels like they can't breathe. And what is the guy crying out most of the time? "I can't breathe".

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    Senior Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelBlue View Post
    I think you're right. From the minute they knock him down he's got, I'd guess, a minimum of 450 pounds of cops pushing down into him. The will to breathe would make anyone resist that I would think. And the entire time, it's that reflexive resistance that fuels the response. Adding another 1,000 pounds of cop isn't going to decrease resistance from anyone who feels like they can't breathe. And what is the guy crying out most of the time? "I can't breathe".
    Those were my thoughts exactly.

    If you can't breathe and feel like you are suffocating, who isn't going to fight back? According to the CNN report linked above, ultimately he died "after having his chest compressed, leaving him unable to breathe."

    Obviously the cops have something to answer for.

    Robin - Initially I couldn't figure out why they were harassing him, but one of the articles states that they were called to the area due to reports of a man going from vehicle to vehicle trying to open doors. It appears they were searching his backpack to find corroborating evidence - and ultimately took the two letters with someone else's name on them as enough evidence to arrest him on suspicion of burglary.

    Ultimately I don't have a problem with them questioning him or even with the decision to arrest him based on the information available to them at the time. But their treatment of a guy who was never threatening or hostile towards them, who never took an aggressive stance towards them, and whom they seem to have attacked when he presented as nothing more than defensive, etc., is surely something to be used for the future training of officers.

    Speaking of training - do cops get any training related to de-escalation? Somehow I don't think that telling a guy who has been relatively benign to look at your fist because you are getting ready to "f*** him up" is representative of how to avoid the escalation of a conflict. And even if nothing bad had happened, if I were in charge I would be sticking him behind a desk for a little while.

    And I agree with Robin's lesson learned for innocent citizen's everywhere - don't ever consent to search.

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    So they are all charged with felonies, two of them with forms of homicide. Good. Bullies with badges.

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    "We must always remember that the police are recruited from the criminal classes."

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    PLesa excuse the tpyos.

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    Senior Member SteelBlue's Avatar
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    Robin touched on this, but holy crap, what's with the audio on that security cam? That's amazing.

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    ... and people are outraged that songs with titles like "Fuck Tha Police" and "Cop Killer" come out...
    "I'm anti, can't no government handle a commando / Your man don't want it, Trump's a bitch! I'll make his whole brand go under,"

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelBlue View Post
    Robin touched on this, but holy crap, what's with the audio on that security cam? That's amazing.
    You know, it IS amazing, but is anybody else wondering what an apparently public camera with such startling audio is doing there anyway? It's legal for citizens to film in public, but since when can the city just stick up cameras everywhere and film the public, and who on earth was controlling that camera in the first place and knew that something was going on that they should zoom in on and film?

    I mean, the footage is great, but this isn't some bystander who saw this happen and whipped out his cellphone, this appears to be a city spy camera. Is this normal in the cities where you guys live?

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    Soul Plumber wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UtahDan View Post
    So they are all charged with felonies, two of them with forms of homicide. Good. Bullies with badges.
    Before cheap portable video cameras, this happened all the time. In the early 1980's, my own father had to watch while a New Orleans cop beat the shit out of his friend. As I remember the story, they had parked in front of a building to load some computer equipment. The cop pulled up and ticketed him, even though it was a loading zone, for being like 5" on the line. When they left, my dad's friend flipped the cop off. They went up a block, and got stuck at a light. Right when the light was about to change, the cop appears at the driver window and literally rips my dad's friend out of the car through the window (can you defenestrate from a car?) and proceeds to wail on him in the middle of Canal Street.

    If memory serves, my dad had to bail him out; I think he was charged with only public indecency.
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    Heartless Bastard Indy Coug's Avatar
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    How can any sober person be stupid enough to flip off a cop, regardless of what the cop does afterwards?
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  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Indy Coug View Post
    How can any sober person be stupid enough to flip off a cop, regardless of what the cop does afterwards?
    I think you're missing the point.

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    Heartless Bastard Indy Coug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taekwondave View Post
    I think you're missing the point.
    No the point is pretty damn obvious, so I'm left to ponder things that are less obvious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indy Coug View Post
    How can any sober person be stupid enough to flip off a cop, regardless of what the cop does afterwards?
    So we can flip off the President of the United States and call him all sorts of derogatory names, but we can't do the same to a cop? I agree that it is stupid, but we should have the right to do it without fear of reprisal. I also realize that there is a slippery slope of denegrating our public servants.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sullyute View Post
    So we can flip off the President of the United States and call him all sorts of derogatory names, but we can't do the same to a cop? I agree that it is stupid, but we should have the right to do it without fear of reprisal. I also realize that there is a slippery slope of denegrating our public servants.
    +1

    I think people shouldn't be made to cower before public servants. Flip away, I say.
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  28. #28

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    My family and I saw a man get beaten to death by the police about fifteen years ago about a mile off the Golden Gate Bridge.

    We were right behind this police officer coming off the bridge when suddenly he started to swerve slowly and methodically across all three lanes, applying his brakes ever so little until he had the entire road blocked off and all his buddies showed up.

    We watched as they approached a guy with a small backpack who was walking along the side of the road. We actually recognized him from a few minutes earlier when he passed us as we were walking the bridge and taking pictures.

    The police called out to him. He looked bewildered, but he cooperated and they spoke together for two or three minutes. After that they had him turn around and put his hands on the car so they could search him.

    If I remember right there was about eight police officers on the scene. The guy was totally cooperative until the officer searching him placed his hands on his buttocks. He didn't seem to like that (maybe he was hiding something, maybe he didn't like his butt touched, I don't know) and turned his head and swatted the officer's hand away.

    Game on.

    The flurry of pepper spray and billy clubs that followed was shocking, to say the least. Mom made us lock the doors . . . but I don't think it was the suspect she was afraid of.

    We read in the paper the next day that he didn't even make it back to the hospital. Poor guy. I don't think anything happened to the eight cops who killed him either. Hope this story turns out differently.

  29. #29

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    The cop said he was going to fuck him up, and he did. Pure and simple bullying, no excuse, no viable explanation.

    Sad to hear him say he is sorry as they beat him to death, ask for his daddy, and tell 7 adult men with clubs and tazers that he can't breathe. As he begs for his life they asphyxiate him by crushing his emaciated torso.

    Every single one of the those officers should spend 10 years in jail, minimum, and the instigator should get the chair.

    We shouldn't have to live in fear of the police, but we do.

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    Heartless Bastard Indy Coug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexTechCoug View Post
    We shouldn't have to live in fear of the police, but we do.
    Sorry, but I don't live in fear of the police. I've run the numbers and the numbers also agree with my risk assessment.
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